EU agrees to unprecedented cuts to single-use plastics

Dec. 19, 2018 Zero Waste Europe: The European Union has agreed upon laws to slash single-use plastics, including bans on "single-use plastic cotton buds, straws, plates, cutlery, beverage stirrers, balloon sticks, oxo-degradable plastics, and expanded polystyrene food containers and beverage cups."

All beverage bottles must have 30% recycled content by 2030. Also included is extended producer responsibility (EPR) for plastic cigarette filters ("big tobacco pays"), fishing gear, and certain single-use packaging by 2023: manufacturers will pay the costs of waste management, clean up and awareness-raising for certain single-use plastics.

"Member States will have two years to transpose it into national laws, which should come into force at the beginning of 2021 at the latest." Read the press release from the European Commission and more from the European Environmental Bureau.